St Tropez – The Paintball – Thurs & Fri
We arrived at the site late on Thursday to find that the Millennium have cunningly replaced all the full size cans and temples with these 3/4 size ones. Actually, for a moment I was quite convinced I’d eaten the red mushroom and become the big Mario and could now jump all over those annoying giant pot-plant fly-traps, but alas. I think these are great for people like Wade and Jay, who I saw playing peek-a-boo over the top, but for me and Rich, if we stand up tall, our loaders are pretty close to the top; I’m quite sure that if you were much taller than us, you’d be really having to angle it to avoid getting clipped. I’m sure this is a tactical decision to save excess bunker materials, and as far as players are concerned it’s not a major issue exactly, but if nobody is actually informed of this sort of alteration, then how are you meant to train or prepare?! It just adds in new things to consider when playing or shooting at that bunker, I mean, it could potentially create cross field drop shots if one were to be placed close to the centre, it’s hard to say without experimenting some. No doubt the Millennium will do a special-move and try and fob these off as an ‘upgrade’ kit at some point…
It’s also worth noting that this inability to walk the fields prior to an actual day of play, seems to feel more frustrating as each event passes. As you can see from the top photo, teams are training even late on as the sun is setting. As soon as the last slot finishes, the site closes for the day. People get pretty pissy if you try and jump on the field to walk it some between their training points too. Great money making scheme for the Mills, but it’d be nice if they could set aside an hour or so for walking in the middle/end of the Thurs mayhaps?
Friday, we head down to the site early to help out Relentless… Only when we arrive it turns out Relentless don’t play for another 3 hours, and it coincides with our game later on, whoops. I think Steve just wanted to lure us all out of bed early and snatch a decent car park spot for the Tiger bus. Either that, or he figured the less time we spend in the hotel, the less chance of him losing his deposits there was. Once bitten twice shy is the phrase here I reckon.
Anyhoo, so our first game was the lowest seed team in our group, Warsaw United, who’d earned promotion from Div 1, placing 4th last year. They put up more of a fight than expected, but then again, we were being a bit cocky and expecting a low seed team, and not a high Div 1 team. The unfortunate thing with both our Friday games was that almost all the UK teams seemed to be scheduled to play at pretty much the same time, so we were unable to have any additional pit crew or even a snake side coach. Didn’t matter in the end for this game, without a coach the team seemed to actually pull together and communication was flowing really well, and not just in the points we were up bodies. In the end we pulled off a 4-2 win. It wasn’t our most convincing game ever, but I got to stab some people up and get my fix of inflicting pain on people, so I didn’t mind all that much. We got chance to test almost all of our game plans and we weren’t getting killed off the break, just getting dead, real sloppily, later on in points. We had a couple of stupid penalties and through those, and also one point where Dec decided he’d rather flounder in the netting instead of making it to the start gate, we ended up playing two points starting with just 4, but won them both anyway – I guess that shows we’re starting to get experienced and don’t lose our cool when the chips are down.
We took a lot from that game, it was a good test for our new roster, and it is always good to have a testing first game, obviously even better when you come out of it with a win though!
Next game was later on that afternoon, Consilium Die Zurich, these guys should’ve been promoted to CPL, but obviously they didn’t like the idea of that and did a spot swap with someone and ended up coming into this event as the top seed team. We all knew it was going to be a tough game, they were obviously going to be out for blood after the smashing we inflicted in Disneyland last year, and they certainly proved they were the top seed team in this game. It went back and forth a bit with kills, we were still managing to take a body either off the break or shortly after, but they seemed to keep decimating our dorito tape and then just running down and shanking my back when I was nicely controlling the snake side from house. Pretty frustrating. We came away from that game with 1 point to their 4. It felt like we deserved more for our efforts, but they were closing down games much better and choosing to push the d side was working better for them than our choice to force the snake obviously.
Once again we found ourselves finishing Friday with 1 win and 1 loss, and everything to play for on Sat in order to make the play-offs. With that in mind we sat down and sensibly corrected some of our plans and made sure we watched as many pro games as possible to see if there was anything they were doing that we hadn’t spotted.